Yesterday we headed down to the coast for the annual Dorset Coast Path Relay. We arrived at Lulworth Cove a couple of hours early so that the kids could expend a bit of energy before being bundled in and out of the car for the rest of the day. We didn’t have a particularly peaceful lunch on the beach as Emma was scared by the crashing waves and Duncan just wanted to crawl in to them!
We watched the Wessex, Kerno and Bristol teams come through which meant that, although we were pretty much on the same schedule as last year (when we came second), only Berkshire were behind the Southampton team. Thankfully Ian, Nick and Jamie arrived just in time to do the steep hill out of Lulworth so that I had about a minute to catch my breath before heading off in the direction of Kimmeridge. As the profile below shows, the leg has two steep climbs and I’m afraid I can’t claim to have run all the way up either of them. Even when on the top it was hard going with a stiff headwind. I was therefore thankful to reach Kimmeridge where another mini-relay resulted in a handover to Christine.
It’s a long way round by car to Chapman’s Pool and, with the added overhead of getting the kids in to the car, we didn’t get there in time to see Christine finish. We then went straight from there to Studland Bay so that Emma and Duncan could enjoy a sandy beach for a change! As the other teams came through, we started to hear that BKO had now overtaken Southampton. At the scheduled time there was still on Martin and myself waiting at the changeover point. Thankfully we were joined by Roderick at the last minute as three runners need to complete the last leg along the beach to Sandbanks. The BKO team were less than a 100 metres ahead and with one of their team hanging off the back I though we had them. Unfortunately Martin just didn’t have anything left in his legs for a race and, despite a heroic attempt to catch up by cutting the corner through the sand, we were destined to finish in fifth (and last) place.
It was a shame we then had to wait quite so long for the ferry but we managed to keep Duncan awake until we stopped for fish and chips in Ringwood and then he perked up for the rest of the journey back home. A fun but tiring day.